Prof. Elizabeth DiSavino

Assistant Professor of Music
At Berea College since 2011

Contact Information

Presser Hall, 403
CPO 2194
Phone: 859-985-3472
Fax: 859-985-3994

Fall 2017

Office Hours

Tuesday: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm,
Wednesday: 10:00 am – 11:00 am & 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Thursday: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm (by appointment)

Liz Disavino

Class Schedule

  • APS/MUS 224 (Tuesday/Thursday: 10:00 am – 11:50 am)
  • MUS 130 K (Monday: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
  • MUS 335 (Monday: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm & Wednesday: 8:00 am – 10:00 am)
  • EDS 330 (Wednesday: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm , observations Tuesday: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm)
  • MUA VARIOUS LEVELS Applied Lessons (Monday: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, 2:30 pm – 3;30 pm; Tuesday 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm; Wednesday: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm)


  • B.S. in Music Education, Montclair State College , Montclair, NJ, 1980
  • M.M. in French horn performance, Manhattan School of Music, 1982
  • Certificate, National Orchestral of New York, 1984

Honors and Awards

  • Two-time member of the Geraldine R. Dodge Master Teacher Collaborative, 1993, 2000
  • Member of Nishuane School arts staff, recognized as one of the top 15 arts programs in America by the US Department of Education, 1990
  • Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship recipient, Berea College, 2012
  • Winner of Puffin Grant for production of album, Alternative Medicine, 2008
  • Winner of Falcon Ridge “New Folk” competition, 1992
  • Runner-Up, American Songwriter competition, 2001
  • Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship 2012 and 2015


  • MUS 130E
  • MUS 335: Methods and Materials for Teaching Elementary Music
  • MUS 336: Fundamentals of Instrumental Music Education
  • MUS 326: Vocal Methods
  • EDS 330: Junior Practicum
  • EDS 482: Student Teaching Supervision
  • Applied Music 105-400: Applied Lessons in Piano and French Horn
  • MUS 130K: Folk-Roots Ensemble, Songwriting from the Roots (summer)
  • The Complete Performer (summer)

Special Interests

  • Folk and World Music
  • Songwriting
  • Arranging


  • NAFME (formerly MENC)
  • KMEA
  • International Horn Society
  • Folk Project of Northern New Jersey
  • The Folk Alliance
  • New York Historical Association
  • New York Folklore Society
  • New Jersey Songwriter’s Circle (founder)
  • Appalachian Studies Association

Papers and Publications

  • Arrangements for brass ensemble, published in the Solid Brass Series (Trigram Press)
  • For Real: The Story of Bob Franke – music editor (Folk Project Press)
  • For the Beauty of the Earth – editor-in-chief (Folk Project Press)
  • With Solid Brass:
    • A Solid Brass Christmas (Musical Heritage Society), 1986
    • Solid Brass at the Opera (Dorrian), 1988
    • Christmas With Solid Brass (Dorrian), 1990
  • Songwriter, Solo:
    • As Live as She Gets (Kitestring Music), 1987
    • A Single Hope (Kitestring Music), 1991
    • Water in the Desert (Duvoo Music) (ep), 2010
  • With A.J. Bodnar:
    • Playmates (Vane Pig Music) 1997
    • Alternative Medicine (Vane Pig Music), 2007
    • A Home in the Catskills (Duvoo Music), 2010
    • Melodicism, 2013
    • Lift the Latch and Let Us Come In ,2013
  • With Illegal Contraband:
    • Hot Merchandise (Duvoo Music), 2010
  • Compilations:
    • Fast Folk  – Songs From the Garden State (Smithsonian Folkways), 1992
    • New Jersey Songwriter’s Circle – Exit 135 (What Exit?  Music), 1993
    • A Dorrian Sampler, volume 2 (Dorrian)
  • Backup musician, arranger, and collaborator
    • Trees of Life – Steve Schuch (Night Heron Music), 2001
    • The Dance – Ellen Stapenhorst (KiNote Productions), 1988
    • Salesman -Dave Kleiner (CD Baby), 2001
    • A Big Jeff Halloween, (Big Jeff Music), 1998
    • And You’re Not Alone – Patrick Regan, 1992
    • The Modern Folk Musician – Mike Agranoff, 1993

Research Programs

  • The Depth of The Well (accepted into the collection of the New York Historical Association). With students at Cherry Valley Springfield Public School. An oral history project of traditional music of the Northern Catskill Mountains, 2008-2010
  • Mountain to Mountain – Berea College, Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship study. Comparison of music of the Catskill Mountains with that of Southern Appalachia, 2012.
  • Katherine Jackson French, Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship study. Study of early ballad collector Katherine Jackson French and her relationship with Berea College, 2014-2015
  • Presentations:
    • Catskill Folk Music – State University of New York at Oneonta, 2010; Old Songs Festival, Altamont, NY, 2010
    • Mountain to Mountain – Fellowship presentation, Berea College, comparison of music of the Catskill Mountains with that of Southern Appalachia, 2012.
    • Untying the Tough Knots – Presentation on the life of early ballad collector Katherine Jackson French and her relationship with Berea College, presented at Berea College, 2015
    • The Red Rose and the Briar – A comparison of the ballads of Katherine Jackson French and Cecil Sharp, presented at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, 2015


Twice a member of the Geraldine R. Dodge Master Teacher Collaborative, Elizabeth DiSavino taught general, vocal, and instrumental music in public and private schools for 29 years.  A former student of music education innovator Bennett Reimer, Ms. DiSavino joined the faculty of Berea College as Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education in 2011.Ms. DiSavino spent fifteen years teaching at the public Gifted and Talented magnet school Nishuane in Montclair, NJ, whose arts program was recognized as one of the top 15 in the United States by the Department of Education in 1990.  A three-year oral history project conducted by her high school choral students in Cherry Valley, New York was accepted into the collection of the New York Historical Association in 2011. Ms. DiSavino performed as a freelance French hornist in New York for ten years and won concerto competitions with the South Orange Symphony and the Metropolitan Orchestra.  She served as hornist and arranger for the 10-piece brass chamber group, Solid Brass, who recorded three albums, an NJN TV special, and toured Canada and the U.S. during her tenure.  Some of her arrangements as recorded by Solid Brass have been played in Germany, Austria, Australia, and New Zealand, and are published by Trigram Press. Ms. DiSavino studied French horn with John Cerminaro, Martin Smith, Joel Winter, Albert Schmitter, and David Wakefield and attended Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Institute of Music, Montclair State College, Manhattan School of Music, and the Aspen Music Festival.  She received advanced training with the Colorado Philharmonic and the National Orchestra of New York, whose regimen included five yearly performances in Carnegie Hall.  Through NONY, she had the privilege of playing under the batons of some of the 20th century‘s greatest conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Loren Maezel, and James Levine. Ms. DiSavino also worked as an accompanist in the New York-metropolitan area and in upstate New York.  She studied piano with Dr. Donald Payne while a student in Cleveland. Ms. DiSavino has a long-standing interest in songwriting as well, and is a winner of the Falcon Ridge New Folk competition and runner-up in the American Songwriting competition.  Founder and former leader of the New Jersey Songwriter’s Circle, she recorded two solo albums of original music, three with husband and partner A.J. Bodnar,  has had her music played on NPR, and may be found on several compilations including Songs From the Garden State on Smithsonian Folkways. Also a traditional folk musician, Ms. DiSavino has been a faculty member for thirteen years at the summer folk arts school Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, MD.  She and A.J. Bodnar researched traditional music of the Catskill Mountains and parlayed that into an album, A Home in the Catskills in 2010.This research became the basis of their 2012 Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship project, Mountain to Mountain, a comparison of  traditional music of the Catskills with that of Southern Appalachia. Professor DiSavino received a second Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship to research the life of early ballad collector Katherine Jackson French and her relationship with Berea College. She is currently writing a book on the subject, tentatively entitled “There Was a Fair Maid Dwelling.” Professor DiSavino had the honor of working with Loyal Jones in the fall of 2015, and transcribed songs and ballads for his upcoming book “Curious and Jocular Heroes.”